+St. Louis Grignion de Montfort+

This site has never ceased to promote obedience to the Roman Pontiffs, a love for the papacy and obedience to the Sacred Canons. Careful study of the articles available here will yield a complete understanding of how and why the Church forbids Catholics today to receive the Sacraments at the hands of Traditionalists. Yet some, it seems, have not fully completed this study, and continue to be ensnared by the sophists rampant among Traditionalists. Traditionalist pushback appeared over the past several weeks following the articles posted in our ongoing blog series, and the errors in their presentations are comprehensively refuted here, once again. Our series details papal prohibitions regarding the inability of those who have received orders from the hands of schismatics to function validly.

Despite these explanations, based almost entirely on papal and conciliar documents and Canon Law, reportedly some are now confused after listening to a recent Internet interview regarding supplied jurisdiction. This interview was posted shortly after the blog series began running in March. The individual giving this interview (we shall call him Theodotus) mistakenly informs his listeners there is papal and conciliar support for the supplied jurisdiction Traditionalists claim to possess. The recent betrayedcatholics blog series answers all but a few of the issues addressed in the interview, but certain things must be clarified and reiterated to clear up any misconceptions.

  1. Can Traditionalists possibly possess supplied jurisdiction?

In a word, no. This pretention presumes they are able to possess it, i.e., are validly ordained/consecrated and are able to exercise said jurisdiction, when these two premises have not been proven. In fact, they have been disproven by papal and ecumenical council decrees and approved theologians enacted before the death of Pope Pius XII. Here we return to the fallacious argument known as petitio princippii, or begging the question: Assuming as true that which has yet to be proved, and a fallacious argument, according to the rules of scholastic philosophy, cannot be used as evidence in any truly Catholic forum.

Traditionalists have yet to prove their validity. And in fact there is no way they can prove it unless and until a true pope returns to determine whether Orders received during an interregnum in violation of Pope Pius XII’s election law are valid, need to be repeated conditionally or need to be repeated entirely. Only a sitting pope can supply jurisdiction; no other entity, not even Christ, can be said to so supply, as was explained in a previous blog. These men purportedly possessing such orders exist in the limbo known as doubt regarding their true status. This is why they cannot convey the Sacraments and the faithful must avoid them. And it may well be that bishops objecting to Vatican 2 made no effort to elect a true pope because they feared he might rein in the hierarchy and void all of the Vatican 2 “reforms,” some of which they actually favored. In that case we were better off without them.

  1. Does employing a valid form in Holy Orders really constitute a right intention?

Theodotus maintains the validity of those calling themselves priests and bishops must be presumed, and cannot be questioned, even if they are heretics or schismatics, provided that they possessed the proper intention, (Can. 951). He repeatedly refers to the deviousness and treachery of those who infiltrated the Church, warning listeners not to underestimate their ability to deceive. And yet he upholds the proper intention hence the validity of the orders administered by Lefebvre, Thuc and Alfredo Mendez-Gonzalez. This even though so many indicators point to grave doubts regarding their intentions, (in Lefebvre’s case, his own ordination and Masonic affiliations, and in the case of Thuc, his sanity. Mendez was consecrated under John 23rd). The Church does not teach this regarding intention in Holy Orders, however, and Theodotus errs in not elaborating on this principle for his hearers.

Theodotus asserts that the only thing the Church requires as necessary to confirm a right intention exists is the correct external performance of the rite of ordination/consecration. But in his constitution on Anglican orders, Apostolicae Curae, Pope Leo XIII separates form from intention, observing that those bishops not validly and lawfully ordained — Anglicans promoted to the episcopate and other orders not according to the accustomed form of the Church… the form AND intention of the Church” — were the ones who could not be considered to have been validly (ordained or) consecrated. So intention is something separate from the form and is required in addition to it. This is broken down into part acts by Rev. Bernard Leeming, S.J., in his Principles of Sacramental Theology:

“[In the case of the Sacraments] common sense indeed presumes… that the minister intends to do a religious act, to do it in accord with the meaning of the rite which he uses and in accord with the mind of the religious body of which he is a minister…” (And P. Pourrat, in his Theology of the Sacraments, 1910, agrees with Leeming stating that: “The intention of the minister is that of the church he represents”). Leeming continues: The mind of the Church is clear that it is possible for a minister to have the intention of not doing what the Church does, and that if such is the case, the sacrament is invalid. This teaching is universally accepted by modern theologians [and hence it is binding on the faithful] who agree that a sacrament is invalidated even by a secret intention of the minister contrary to the substantial nature of the sacrament… The concept of the commission given by Christ seems to demand more than the physical performance of the rite…In orders the bishop gives a man the recognized standing of a minister in the united body… Priests and bishops… are entrusted by Christ with His flock and in no wise fulfill that trust if there is a will positively to exclude what the Church of Christ does for the flock…

“There is always a presumption that a man intends to do what he actually does; nevertheless, a presumption is always liable to be overthrown by clear evidence… It is clearly contrary to common sense to say that the spoken word inevitably reflects the inward mind,” and here he gives the example of those who lie or those who swear false oaths. So much for the contentions of Theodotus, since Rev. Leeming, a professor of dogmatic theology writing in 1955, enjoyed the approval of the Church under Pope Pius XII, something Theodotus could never claim. Leeming is eminently credible; Theodotus is not.

Rev. Leeming further explains that there is really little difference in actual invalidity and “a practical legal invalidity.” In examining “re-ordinations” from previous ages, he writes: “The practical effect is the same whether orders are declared invalid or whether the recipient is refused all permission to exercise them. In theory the difference is very great; but in practice there is very little difference, and, because of the practical effects,” it is easy to confuse the two. Leeming continues: “Various expressions which seem at first sight to indicate invalidity of orders means in fact a practical legal invalidity, in the sense that the Church to which the bishop or priest was consecrated owed him no support or obedience and his acts had no legal effect.”

This is the type of invalidity that has been observed in the blog pieces regarding Traditionalists, a legal invalidity now imposed by Pope Pius XII’s infallible Vacantis Apostolica Sedis (VAS). Theodotus keeps repeating that we live in perilous times and the current laws cannot be applied. That is because there is a law written specifically for interregnums that DOES apply, and no Traditionalist will acknowledge that. The actual validity of the Orders received by those claiming to have been ordained and consecrated cannot be determined until a true pope exists to judge them. But the legal validity of their acts in light of VAS, which has declared them null and void — invalid, according to Pope Leo XIII’s definition in Apostolicae Curae — cannot be questioned, coming as it does from a binding papal document. This presents exactly the situation that is described in the blog on epikeia, one of doubt; for no one can presume to know what a future pope might decide.

The actual form used by Thuc to consecrate Guerard des Lauriers was even called into question by the two principle witnesses of the consecration, Mssrs. Hiller and Heller. Did Thuc or Lefebvre really have the intention to conform to “the mind of the religious body of which he is a minister”?  Either both men were members of the Novus Ordo Church or they were acting outside of the Church and her laws. By virtue of his “consecration, Mendez was a member of the Novus Ordo church.  Either way, they could not be described as being affiliated with the Catholic Church or comprising ministers “of the united body.” Since when would anyone ever dream of describing Traditionalists as “united”?! That is a contradiction in terms. The only true unity envisioned by Leeming when making this statement was that of the hierarchy in communion with the Roman Pontiff, something we know was not the case.

  1. False Western Schism analogy

To support his supplied jurisdiction scenario, which he confusedly refers to as “ordinary,” Theodotus resorts to the (false) analogy of the Western Schism. A false analogy is yet another fallacious argument in scholastic philosophy, and therefore, it has no standing.

The reason the interview hinges on supplied jurisdiction is that orders in and of itself is not sufficient to establish apostolicity. The one ordained, illicitly or not, must also somehow possess jurisdiction in order to establish true descent from the Apostles (see Apostolicity) and administer the Sacraments. In Theodotus’ references to supplied jurisdiction he seems to imply that perhaps a secret pope is supplying it, so it can be assumed as supplied in the same manner jurisdiction was, according to him, supplied during the time of the Western Schism: it was simply out there. The Catholic Encyclopedia summarizes the schism below.

“From this brief summary it will be readily concluded that this schism did not at all resemble that of the East, that it was something unique, and that it has remained so in history. It was not a schism properly so called, being in reality a deplorable misunderstanding concerning a question of fact, an historical complication which lasted forty years. In the West there was no revolt against papal authority in general, no scorn of the sovereign power of which St. Peter was the representative. Faith in the necessary unity never wavered a particle; no one wished voluntarily to separate from the head of the Church. Now this intention alone is the characteristic mark of the schismatic spirit (Summa, II-II, Q. xxxix, a. 1).” As explained in our last blog post, the failure of any remaining “faithful” bishops to gather together and elect a true pope screamed their intention not to be ruled by a Sovereign Pontiff and not to perpetuate the papacy. This contrary intention speaks volumes regarding those they ordained and consecrated, men who were not created as ministers existing in a “united body.”

So no, the Western Schism cannot be said to be analogous to our times because there is no one at all who even appears to be a true pope reigning today. And no “free-floating” jurisdiction existed then to justify the acts of the antipopes and their clergy, either. A true pope existed the entire time who could secretly have supplied jurisdiction, although from all indications, the Council of Constance under Gregory XII supplied whatever was lacking to the people in their depositions of the two antipopes. After condemning John XXIII as a simoniac, fomenter of schism, and notoriously incorrigible, the council declared: “The said holy synod does now remove, deprive and depose him. It declares each and every Christian, of whatever state, dignity or condition, to be absolved from obedience, fidelity and oaths to him. It forbids all Christians henceforth to recognize him as pope, now that as mentioned he has been deposed from the papacy, or to call him pope, or to adhere to or in any way to obey him as pope. The said holy synod, moreover, from certain knowledge and its fullness of power, supplies for all and singular defects that may have occurred in the above-mentioned procedures or in any one of them.” (See link below.)

Antipope Benedict XIII was condemned as “a perjurer, a cause of scandal to the universal church, a promoter and breeder of the ancient schism, that long established fission and division in God’s holy church, an obstructer of the peace and unity of the said church, a schismatic disturber and a heretic… [He is] deprived of all benefices, dignities and ecclesiastical or secular honours, and under other penalties of the law, even if the dignity is that of a bishop, a patriarch, a cardinal, a king or the emperor. If they act contrary to this prohibition, they are by this very fact deprived of these things, on the authority of this decree and sentence, and they incur the other penalties of the law. This holy synod, moreover, declares and decrees that all and singular prohibitions and all processes, sentences, constitutions, censures and any other things whatsoever that were issued by him and might impede the aforesaid, are without effect; and it invalidates, revokes and annuls them; saving always the other penalties which the law decrees for the above cases” (http://www.dailycatholic.org/history/16ecume1.htm). This is but a precursor of Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, for having identified Benedict XIII as a heretic only claiming to be pope, they then simply declare that anything he attempted to do had no effect.

In the deposition of John XXIII, deposed in May 1415, it appears Gregory XII supplied jurisdiction for the acts of all those in that “obedience” since he did not resign until July 4, 1415. The wording is different for those who were in the obedience of Benedict XIII, since there was no longer even a claimant to the papacy heading the council to supply. But in both instances, all the “papal” acts are revoked.  Gregory XII was later determined to be the true pope, so we can assume all those following him were covered validity wise. And no doubt Pope Martin V provided for those who had been under obedience to Benedict XIII; we do not have all his decrees, but this is only is only right and just.

  1. Ad Evitanda Scandala is not what it appears to be

Theodotus points to Pope Martin V’s Ad Evitanda Scandala, 1417, as proof that regardless of any excommunication for whatever reason, excommunicated clergy could function and validly dispense the Sacraments. (Again, first prove unquestionable validity, then this matter can be considered.) Ad Evitanda basically states that “No one henceforth shall be bound to abstain from communion with anyone in the administration or reception of the sacraments or in any other religious or non-religious acts whatsoever, nor to avoid anyone nor to observe any ecclesiastical interdict, on pretext of any ecclesiastical sentence or censure…” And Theodotus says this removes any censures incurred by those under the antipopes during the schism. But over 125 years or so after the close of the Council of Constance, St. Robert Bellarmine clarified, per Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio (1559), who precisely was included in Pope Martin V’s decree as follows:

“There is no basis for that which some respond to this: that these Fathers based themselves on ancient law, while nowadays, by decree of the Council of Constance, they alone lose their jurisdiction who are excommunicated by name or who assault clerics. This argument, I say, has no value at all, for those Fathers, in affirming that heretics lose jurisdiction, did not cite any human law, which furthermore perhaps did not exist in relation to the matter, but argued on the basis of the very nature of heresy. The Council of Constance only deals with the excommunicated, that is, those who have lost jurisdiction by sentence of the Church, while heretics already before being excommunicated are outside the Church and deprived of all jurisdiction. For they have already been condemned by their own sentence, as the Apostle teaches (Tit. 3:10-11), that is, they have been cut off from the body of the Church without excommunication, as St. Jerome affirms… All the ancient Fathers…teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction, and outstandingly that of St. Cyprian (lib. 4, epist. 2) who speaks as follows of Novatian, who was Pope [i.e. antipope] in the schism which occurred during the pontificate of St. Cornelius: “He would not be able to retain the episcopate [i.e. of Rome], and, if he was made bishop before, he separated himself from the body of those who were, like him, bishops, and from the unity of the Church.’” — St. Robert Bellarmine, An Extract from St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, lib. II, cap. 30, (http://www.cmri.org/02-bellarmine-roman-pontiff.html .This link is placed merely for purposes of attribution; no endorsement of this site is hereby intended.)

The above gives the lie to Theodotus’ belief that no one has ever challenged Ad Evitanda Scandala. Furthermore, St. Robert Bellarmine, in de Romano Pontifice, Bk. 2, Chapter 40 taught: “The Holy Fathers teach unanimously not only that heretics are outside of the Church, but also that they are ipso facto deprived of all ecclesiastical jurisdiction and dignity …Saint Nicholas I (epist. Ad Michael) repeats and confirms the same. Finally, Saint Thomas also teaches (II-II, Q39, A3) that schismatics immediately lose all jurisdiction, and that anything they try to do on the basis of any jurisdiction will be null.” Bellarmine could scarcely say otherwise, since already Pope Paul IV in Cum ex Apostolatus Officio had infallibly decreed that:

“Further, if ever at any time it becomes clear that any Bishop, even one conducting himself as an Archbishop, Patriarch, or primate; or any Cardinal of the aforesaid Roman Church, even as mentioned, a Legate; or likewise any Roman Pontiff before his promotion or elevation as a Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, [has strayed from the Catholic Faith or] fallen into some heresy, [or has incurred schism] …his promotion or elevation shall be null, invalid and void. It cannot be declared valid or become valid through his acceptance of the office, his consecration, subsequent possession or seeming possession of government and administration…The persons themselves so promoted and elevated shall, ipso facto and without need for any further declaration, be deprived of any dignity, position, honor, title, authority, office and power…” (Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, 1559). This Bull is the basis and foundation stone for nearly every canon on heresy, apostasy and schism contained in the 1917 Code of Canon Law; the old law from which all the others spring.

  1. Canon 2261 §2: Does it give Traditionalists carte blanche?

Ad Evitanda Scandala is the old law on which Can. 2261 §2 is based (Gasparri in his Fontes). In his 1928 Catholic University of America dissertation, Excommunication, Rev. Francis E. Hyland, agrees with Bellarmine’s assessment regarding those excommunicated for heresy, apostasy and schism, commenting on this subject: “Tanquerey remarks that… the Church is wont to declare as vitandi only notorious heretics and schismatics. From these remarks it is clear that those excommunicates under consideration in this canon [2261 §2] ARE NOT THOSE EXCOMMUNICATED FOR HERESY AND SCHISM, for these are already outside the Church, as Rev. Tanquerey observes.” Tanquerey’s manuals on dogma were in common use in seminaries in the last century and as Msgr. Joseph Fenton observes, one cannot call his teaching into question without also questioning the Church’s proper training of Her seminarians.

Again, Hyland far and away trumps Theodotus. But here we do not even need to worry about Can. 2261 §2; first those claiming this privilege must prove themselves to be clerics validly ordained and consecrated, for this canon applies to clerics only! All the rest depends on this proof and until a true pope can make this determination there is no certainty whatsoever; only doubt. Once they are cleared of heresy, apostasy and schism and their status is declared, then we can ask for an authentic interpretation of Canon 2261 §2.

  1. The Decree of the Fourth Lateran Council, Chap. 26

This is cited by Theodotus to prove that those who have been elected bishops can wait for papal approval (the papal mandate) indefinitely and still function. “There is nothing more harmful to God’s church than for unworthy prelates to be entrusted with the government of souls. Wishing therefore to provide the necessary remedy for this disease, we decree by this irrevocable constitution that when anyone has been entrusted with the government of souls, then he who holds the right to confirm him should diligently examine both the process of the election and the character of the person elected, so that when everything is in order he may confirm him… Bishops too, if they wish to avoid canonical punishment, should take care to promote to holy orders and to ecclesiastical dignities men who will be able to discharge worthily the office entrusted to them.

“Those who are immediately subject to the Roman pontiff shall, to obtain confirmation of their office, present themselves personally to him, if this can conveniently be done, or send suitable persons through whom a careful inquiry can be made about the process of the election and the persons elected. In this way, on the strength of the pontiff’s informed judgment, they may finally enter into the fullness of their office, when there is no impediment in canon law. For a time, however, those who are in very distant parts, namely outside Italy, if they were elected peaceably, may by dispensation, on account of the needs and benefit of the churches, administer in things spiritual and temporal, but in such a way that they alienate nothing whatever of the church’s goods. They may receive the customary consecration or blessing(http://www.dailycatholic.org/history/12ecume3.htm, no. 26).

Sorry to keep repeating myself, but this is referring only to unquestionably validly ordained priests peaceably elected as bishops by certainly qualified electors under a true pope. It does not apply to those whose ordinations or elections are in question during an interregnum. And notice that this is only allowed “for a time.” It is not very likely that the council fathers meant this to last for 800 years. Since then we have the 1917 Code which adjusts all these matters. Also, as noted in the blog on the heresy of Antiquarianism, prior arrangements now obsolete are no longer valid, and there is no indication whatsoever that this decision of the Lateran Council XIV could have survived into our own day, even as a precedent.

  1. Antiquarianism and Ad Apostolorum Principis

This subject has been well addressed in a previous blog but the contents of the post obviously bear repeating. Theodotus claims the mere mention of a past practice of the Church justifies its adaptation and use by Traditionalists. They cite paragraph 43 of the pope’s constitution which reads:

“We are aware that those who belittle obedience in order to justify themselves with regard to those functions which they have unrighteously assumed defend their position BY RECALLING A USAGE WHICH PREVAILED IN AGES PAST. Yet everyone sees that all ecclesiastical discipline is overthrown if it is in any way lawful for one to restore arrangements which are no longer valid because the supreme authority of the Church long ago decreed otherwise. In no sense do they excuse their way of acting by appealing to another custom, and they indisputably prove that they follow this line deliberately in order to escape from the discipline which now prevails and which they ought to be obeying…”

Theodotus seizes only on the phrase “a usage which prevailed in ages past,” and flies past the part where the pope declares such usages no longer valid. Pius XII’s decisive words mean nothing once Traditionalists think they have found the long-lost loophole they need to establish their “case.” To do this, he ignores Pope Pius XII’s infallible teaching in Mediator Dei: Clearly no sincere Catholic can refuse to accept the formulation of Christian doctrine more recently elaborated and proclaimed as dogmas by the Church, under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit with abundant fruit for souls, because it pleases him to hark back to the old formulas. NO MORE CAN ANY CATHOLIC IN HIS RIGHT SENSES REPUDIATE EXISTING LEGISLATION OF THE CHURCH TO REVERT TO PRESCRIPTIONS BASED ON THE EARLIEST SOURCES OF CANON LAW.” And there it is in black and white; no Catholic in his right senses can do such a thing. That tells us all we need to know about Traditionalists.

  1. Pope Innocent II and the Antipope Anacletus — Deliberate Disinformation?

Theodotus tells his listeners that those who in the past elected antipopes and served under them were eventually readmitted to the clergy. He cites the case of Pope Innocent II, championed by St. Bernard of Clairvaux, and he says Pope Innocent readmitted all of Anacletus’ clergy to the Church following the antipope’s deposition. Ailbe J. Luddy, O. Cist., in his 1950 work, The Life and Teaching of St. Bernard, records the following:

“[Innocent II] pronounced sentence of deposition against all who had been ordained or consecrated or promoted to any ecclesiastical rank or dignity by Anacletus or Gerard of Angouleme, not excepting such as had freely and early renounced the schism.” At the General Council of the Lateran held in 1139, Innocent II, according to the historian Baronius pronounced the following: “Whatsoever he [Anacletus] has established I annul; whomsoever he has exalted, I depose; whomsoever he has consecrated, I suspend and degrade.” This hardly agrees with what was reported by Theodotus. And it was not the last time that a council voided dignities received by the clergy from antipopes.

From the Third Lateran Council, Canon 2: Renewing the decision taken by our predecessor of happy memory, Innocent, we decree that the ordinances made by the heresiarchs Octavian and Guido, and also by John of Strumawho followed them [antipopes Victor IV (1159-1164), Paschal III (11641168) and Callistus III (11681178)] and by those ordained by them, are void; and furthermore that if any have received ecclesiastical dignities or benefices through the foresaid schismatics, they are to be deprived of them. Moreover alienations or seizures of ecclesiastical property, which have been made by these schismatics or by lay persons, are to lack all validity and are to return to the church without any burden to it. If anyone presumes to act against this, let him know that he is excommunicated. We decree that those who of their own accord have taken an oath to remain in schism are suspended from sacred orders and dignities” (http://www.dailycatholic.org/history/11ecume1.htm).

(The following is from the Council of Florence held in Florence, Italy from 1438-1447. The Council was a continuation of the Council of Ferrara, and that council in turn was a continuation of the Council of Basel, in Switzerland. It was convoked in 1431 by Pope Martin V. Following Martin’s death, his successor Blessed Pope Eugene IV opened it and met open resistance from many of the bishops. Therefore he dissolved the Council, moving to Ferrara, Italy in 1438 because of the schismatic bishops who elected the antipope Felix V. Felix attempted to depose Eugene IV. These are the condemnations aimed at Felix and his followers who did not repent and return to the Church.)

“May he and all the aforesaid be cast out like an antichrist and an invader and a destroyer of the whole of Christianity. Let no appeal in this matter ever be allowed to him or to them. Let them and their posterity and successors be deprived without appeal of every ecclesiastical or secular rank and dignity whatsoever. Let all of them be condemned by a perpetual anathema and excommunication and may they be counted among the wicked who will not rise at the judgment.” (17th Council of Florence, 1431-1445; part 10).

Then of course there is Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio in 1559, quoted above, regarding such an antipope and those appointed by him: “…his promotion or elevation shall be null, invalid and void. It cannot be declared valid or become valid through his acceptance of the office, his consecration, subsequent possession or seeming possession of government and administration…The persons themselves so promoted and elevated shall, ipso facto and without need for any further declaration be deprived of any dignity, position, honor, title, authority, office and power…”

9. St. Vincent Ferrar didn’t need jurisdiction

This subject is somewhat amusing since it proves a point I am sure Traditionalists never intended to make. One pro-Trad jurisdiction tract in particular uses the case of St. Vincent Ferrar to almost singlehandedly demonstrate that jurisdiction existed during the time of the Western Schism. They allege that the antipope Benedict XIII, who St. Vincent then believed was the true pope, was able to grant him jurisdiction to preach and hear confessions. Well curiously, there is a very obvious answer to this particular jurisdiction question that needs to be pointed out. The following quote is taken from St. Francis de Sales Catholic Controversy, where he rebukes the Protestants.

“Your party have taken ground elsewhere than in the ordinary mission and have said that they were sent extraordinarily by God because the ordinary mission has been ruined and abolished, with the true Church itself, under the tyranny of Antichrist. This is their most safe refuge, since it is common to all sorts of heretics… First I say that no one should allege an extraordinary mission unless he prove it by miracles…Where should we be if this extraordinary mission was to be accepted without proof? Would it not be a cloak for all sorts of reveries?”  Well needless to say, St. Vincent Ferrar worked many notable miracles, and hence no jurisdiction was ever necessary.

And no, this argument, then, cannot be used to say that since St. Vincent did not have an office under the anti-pope, neither do Traditionalists need an office. He was given the gift of miracles and that was his office of preacher complete with jurisdiction. Traditionalists can scarcely claim the same.

10. Other issues

Theodotus seems to believe that it is a matter of opinion only that the popes following Pope Pius XII are heretics. Traditionalists, of course, do not believe in the necessity of certitude before proceeding to act as the Church teaches, so this is not surprising. He encourages those listening to his interview to let the moderator know their opinions on the matter, as if the Church had ever allowed anyone at any time to opine on the validity of the Sacraments and the veracity of papal decisions. Nothing like a nice Novus Ordo-style dialogue to determine how best to violate papal jurisdiction, right? Or are they taking their cues from the “pope” they seem to be alluding to in the interview…! Who knows what they will eventually trot out — at this stage of the game all bets are off. If readers had not requested a review of the errors exposed here, this, like so many other fantastical Traditional presentations would have passed unnoticed and unworthy of comment.

In an attempt to smooth the ruffled feathers of stay-at-home Catholics, Theodotus concedes that those who believe they must remain at home and not receive the Sacraments are not committing mortal sin. Thanks for that, Theodotus. But it is not much consolation when you and so many others refuse to admit staying at home is not merely an option, but an obligation, and many of those not availing themselves of it ARE committing mortal sin. It is these unacknowledged sins that are the underlying cause of the discord among all Traditionalists vying to compete in the “Catholic restoration” efforts. As one reader in touch with certain Traditional factions noted recently, “There’s no way there will be ‘union among the clans’ as they call it. They hate each other BITTERLY… How they treat each other… they’re like demons. It is horrible.” Sadly, I cannot help but agree. “Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you” (Luke 6: 27-36). That is all we can do.

(Pease see my commentary below, as well.)



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